Blackout Hip-Hip Exclusive: Amerigo Gazaway (Interview)
Blackout Hip-Hop.com: Amerigo Gazaway is an artist every true Hip Hop fan has come across in the past few years. His mash-up mixtapes like Fela Soul (Fela Kuti & De La Soul), A Bizarre Tribe (The Pharcyde & A Tribe Called Quest), Yasiin Gaye (Marvin Gaye & Yasiin Bay a.k.a. Mos Def) and A Common Wonder (Common & Stevie Wonder) have accumulated millions of plays across various streaming platforms as he has blended worlds all of us have wondered how they would sound together. There’s no question he’s a deep digger, dope producer and skilled craftsman when it comes to the one’s and two’s, so with him coming to our city of Zagreb to perform at the Burger Festival on Sunday the 16th of September, we had the privilege to ask Amerigo a few questions!
Amerigo, I was blown away when I first heard the “Bizarre Tribe (A Quest To The Pharcyde)” tape. Just the fact that someone managed to (so successfully) blend two Hip Hop groups I love so much made me an instant fan. I’m sure a lot of fans of the culture, especially DJs get a kick from blending the right stuff. How long have you been doing this, and what led up the series of fantastic releases you’ve made?
In 2011, I released my first conceptual collaboration project, Fela Soul (Fela Kuti & De La Soul). Up until then I had been experimenting with lots of mashups, blends and DJ edits, combining various hip-hop instrumentals with acapellas from other well known songs and genres. I had also been sampling records and making beats for years prior to that, mainly for my own enjoyment and for myself and other emcees to rap over. However, Fela Soul was the first time I combined these two disciplines together to create something new.
Since then it has evolved into the Soul Mates Project, a series in which I re-imagine the works of my favorite artists and try to put them in conversation with one another. The concept itself encompasses more than just the traditional mashup format, and my overall goal is to highlight the connections between hip-hop and other genres of music such as jazz, funk, soul, afrobeat, blues, and more.